Working for Good, Clean, Fair Food for All - Slow Food Urban San Diego Convivium of Slow Food International


Master Gardeners Educate and Service San Diego Communities

by Nathan Yick, Slow Food SDSU Chapter Leader

master gardener community gardenSan Diego has over 300* Master Gardeners, passionate gardeners who serve and educate San Diegans on pest control and horticulture for free. Part of a rigorous training program founded in 1980, by the University of California Cooperative Extension, they work alongside teachers and parents helping children with their garden projects. They help community gardens overcome challenges with their plots, and with the drought plaguing California, their services and knowledge are much needed in the gardens.

To help San Diego communities combat the drought, the Master Gardeners have developed their Earth Friendly Gardening program. This program trains gardeners in sustainable gardening addressing things like how to adapt to the drought by providing information on creating an earth friendly garden–information on how to conserve water, maintain soil quality, and reduce waste. Thanks to the Master Gardeners, Community Gardens all over San Diego, like the Agape House by San Diego State University, have thrived and continue to provide fresh and local produce for the community.

“One of my favorite things about being a Master Gardener is helping people with their gardening challenges,” says Dominick Fiume who became a Master Gardener through working at the Ark of Taste Heritage Garden in Old Town State Park.

As fulfilling and rewarding experience it is being a Master Gardener, becoming one takes a lot of work. To become certified, students go through a training program consisting of 16 weekly classes taught by agricultural experts which educate aspiring volunteers on pest management and horticulture. They must pass an exam and then volunteer regularly as well as continue their education to keep their certification.

Through their commitment, knowledge and passion for public service in gardening and pest control, the Master Gardeners have helped San Diego communities preserve and create more sustainable gardens.

SFUSD is excited that this passionate and knowledgeable San Diego resource is participating in our 2015 Good Food Community Fair. Look for their booth on wise water use.

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*the original story in the Sept newsletter reported there were over 60 Master Gardeners in San Diego. San Diego has over 300.

 

 

More than Honey and Sweet Sips Networking

Honey tasting.

Honey tasting.

Big thanks to everyone who came out for our Sweet Sips networking event in July at Local Habit. Mead tastings by Golden Coast Mead, honey tastings offered by Wild Willow Farms and local beekeepers from the San Diego Beekeepers Society and special honey-based dishes by Chef Jimmy. A sweet time, indeed.

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Natalie from Golden Coast Mead serving up some mead.

And thanks to all who joined us for the re-screening of the More than Honey documentary. This is an amazing, intriguing, beautiful and quirky film. Please see it if you haven’t already.

For those of you interested in learning more about bees and what you can do locally, here are a few great local resources:

San Diego Beekeeping Society holds classes and meetups to encourage responsible beekeeping. Lots of expert members there. You can find a list of beekeepers on their website who perform live bee removals and other bee resources in the county.

Wild Willow Farm is a non-profit organization offering beekeeping classes (also farming classes). The instructor is very knowledgeable about bee issues locally and globally and can tell you about hosting a hive on your property.

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Paul and Cathryn, our friends from Wild Willow Farm.

Girl Next Door Honey offers beekeeping classes and workshops, one-on-one consulting, a host-a-hive program and performs live bee removals.

If you need to remove bees from your property, please consider live removal by one of these folks or those listed on the Beekeeping Society website. Bees are important to our food supply and need a helping hand. Stay tuned for future bee-related events.

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Enjoying honey and mead.

Local Food and Beverage Tours with Epicurean San Diego, New Member Benefit Partner

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San Diego is home to more than 90 craft breweries and a growing number of farm-to-table restaurants committed to supporting the county’s more than 6,000 local farmers. So it’s no surprise that when Stephanie Parker moved back home after a three-year, food-forward stint in San Francisco, she felt called to help make the most of San Diego’s local food and beverage scene. Parker has been in the food and hospitality business since her college years, and her biggest passion is showing locals and visitors alike the best that her city’s farms, coffee roasters, craft breweries, butchers and wineries have to offer.
Cue the birth of Epicurean San Diego, Parker’s newly founded food, farm and libation tour company. Epicurean offers half and full-day hands-on food tours on Saturdays that are open to the public for up to 12 guests, as well as private tours for special events. More public tour dates and locations coming soon.
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Tour guests can expect to stop at three to five carefully curated businesses committed to local, organic sourcing and sustainability. A full day tour might begin with a coffee cupping class at a local coffee roaster, followed by an hour-long organic farm tour and a field-side, linen-napkin and artisanal crafted lunch. The afternoon might include a flight at a local winery, a lesson in curating from a local salumi maker, and a final foray at one of San Diego’s famous craft breweries with some cold pints to celebrate the day. Guests are certain to go home with full bellies and a sense of pride in the community they call home (or home-away-from-home).

“Our tours are founded on a combination of passion for learning and a desire to strengthen ties in the community,” says Parker. “When we see where our eggs and beverages come from, we have an opportunity to make informed buying decisions that align with our values.”

Slow Food Urban San Diego members get a 10% discount on all Epicurean San Diego tours. To learn more, visit epicureansandiego.com.

~by Kathryn Rogers, SFUSD Board Member~